What Inspired You to Partner Your Small Business with FFA?
While John admits that he initially partnered with FFA to grow his business, over time it grew into something more.
“Initially, in 2014, I wanted referrals. We had done well sponsoring the local athletics departments in the bi-county area and using that same mindset that parents and grandparents will shop local and at least think about us for a quote. That hair-brained idea turned into a passion to see our local young people grow in athletics and in farming.”
John continues, saying, “It’s good to get referrals, but it’s not about that. For the past five years it has been humbling to help young people who would have otherwise not found their passion and drive for life.”
When it comes to setting a goal, remember — it’s okay if the end game changes! For John, his goal was to simply grow his business, but it became so much more and ended up doing good for others and giving back to the community. Be flexible and ready to adapt to changes in the plan! Sometimes, the best kind of business is good for others and gives back to the community.
How Do You Support the FFA Organization as a Business Owner?
There are many ways to get involved as a small business. John has used his business to help these young farmers through sponsorships and mentorships.
John says as an entrepreneur he provides insights and guidance to young farmers in his area. According to him he helps them with business hurdles like calculating feed cost, reviewing budgets and market plans, explaining the value of good insurance coverage, defining compound interest, discussing farm loans and other things to help them as fellow business owners.
Are there other ways businesses can help?
When asked if there are other ways to get involved, John recommends making sure it’s specific to your local agricultural association.
He says, “Call your local FFA office, they have opportunities ranging from ticket taking to cow judging. Small business owners have multiple skills and talents that cross over into the agriculture world. Farmers deal with terms and concepts like ROI, profit and loss, taxes and SOPs to name a few. It’s like helping a new agent, except instead of prospecting new leads and helping them ‘plant the seed,’ they are literally planting the seed.”
How Can I Help Local Farmers?
John encourages those who want to support their local farmers to volunteer their time, attend events or simply donate.
When it comes to volunteering, John urges anyone with a business background to provide their knowledge to young farmers. “Most of the young farmers have agriculture resources, but they also need the business savviness that’s vastly needed in today’s ag markets.”
You can support FFA by attending events as well. John says, “Any event you can, show your support for the FFA young adults. Show them you care and be there as a mentor and a friend of the community. For information or to see what FFA is all about, go to the national convention.” The FFA is also offering virtual options to get involved this year.
If you can’t volunteer or attend events, consider donating to FFA, which can be done securely online, over the phone or through the mail. Donations are a great way you can help provide the resources for agricultural education, ways to recognize member achievements and develop student leaders. Interested in learning more about ways to support FFA? Head here.